Incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s apparent failure to secure an overwhelming victory in India’s general election has prompted a significant fall in commodity share prices. 

The Nifty Oil & Gas index, a platform reflecting the performance of Indian oil and gas stocks, fell by more than 14% on Tuesday. 

Meanwhile, some of India’s top upstream oil and gas producers such as GAIL, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation and Oil India saw their share prices drop by 15–25% during intraday trades.  

GAIL, an Indian state-owned energy corporation, experienced one of the biggest falls, with a 24.72% drop in its share price, according to local business outlet Mint News.  

Gujarat Gas and Indraprastha Gas, both city gas distribution companies, saw their share prices drop by more than 6% each.  

Adani Group companies saw a significant drop in their shares, with a decline of up to 19% during the early trading session on Tuesday, attributed to the initial trends of the Lok Sabha (India’s lower parliamentary house) election results, where Modi’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) faces challenges in securing victory. 

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Just one day ago, shares in the Adani companies, which have interests in electricity generation and transmission, mining, natural gas and infrastructure, had rallied strongly, adding almost $20bn to the group’s market value, as exit polls indicated a decisive victory for Modi. 

The overall picture also points to a fall in share prices, with the country’s stock market benchmark, the NSE Nifty 50 Index, dropping 5.9% in Mumbai, its worst day in more than four years.  

With around half the votes counted, Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies in the NDA were leading in more than 290 seats. This is more than the 272 needed for a majority in parliament but well short of the roughly 350 they won in 2019. 

“The steep fall is due to the results so far falling short of the exit polls, which the market had discounted on the 3 June,” said V K Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services, speaking to the Hindustan Times.  

“If the BJP doesn’t get a majority on its own, there will be disappointment, and this is getting reflected in the market,” he added.  

On Tuesday, shares of Adani Total Gas plummeted by 18.55% to $10.92. Adani Green Energy also experienced a sharp decline of more than 18% to $13.40, compared with its previous closing of $24.39. 

Adani Power and Adani Energy Solutions also experienced significant declines on 4 June, with the latter falling by 14.18% and Adani Power dropping by 13.6% 

The exit polls had projected that the BJP-led coalition would secure more than 350 of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha elections, predictions that the opposition leaders had dismissed, with a senior official from the Congress party, a party with a long history within India politics, calling the early results an “unexpected pleasure“.